The flagship 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL will no longer feature a traditional V12 engine. According to international reports, Mercedes-Benz will first finish off the Mercedes-Benz SL 600 model later this year and then end the Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG next year.
Reports suggest one of the reasons for this is because Mercedes-Benz is preparing the all-new 2013 SL-Class. The new range will not feature a V12-powered variant. Instead, Mercedes and AMG are said to be focusing on further development of smaller capacity V8 engines, such as the 4.7-litre and 5.5-litre twin-turbo units currently powering the CL-Class.
These smaller engines are much more fuel efficient compared with the big V12s, and could potentially offer similar performance to the S-Class convertible. The current SL 65 AMG offers 450kW and 1000Nm of torque, attached to an average fuel consumption rating of 15.1L/100km. On the other hand, the current Mercedes-Benz CL 63 AMG 5.5-litre twin-turbo unit offers 400kW and 800Nm, with an average fuel consumption rating of just 10.6L/100km.
Another reason Mercedes-Benz could be phasing the big 12-cylinder variants is due to the possibility they could be clashing sales with the recently introduced Mercedes-Benz SLS convertible and coupe. These two cars fall into the same market segment as the SL65 and SL 600, offering a large grand touring layout with around 400kW of power.
Either way, we'll be sure to keep you updated on the future of the SL range. In the meantime, feel free to give us your thoughts on whether or not Mercedes should give up the big V12 in the comments section below.